WWI Army Nurse Tena Heglund Johnson

During World War I, the military recruited 20,000 nurses for duty. More than 10,000 of them served overseas during the Great War. Most nurses either served at one of the 58 military hospitals or helped staff 47 ambulance companies that operated on the Western Front. This photo shows Tena Heglund Johnson of Fosston in her Army Nurse Corps uniform shortly before she left for...

Buchanan: A Town of Firsts

Rumors of copper riches hidden in the North Shore’s streams and hillsides had excited the imaginations of mineral prospectors and speculators for years. Copper towns were numerous along the North Shore of Lake Superior in the mid-19th century. With few exceptions, the town sites, much like their creators’ dreams, never became a reality. In 1856, Buchanan was established as the seat of the U.S....

Hotel Del Otero on Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka’s glory days began after the Great Northern Railway extended their line into Spring Park around 1882. More than fifteen trains per day pulled into Spring Park bringing hundreds of tourists to the area. In 1885, James J. Hill began construction on the Hotel Del Otero. Visitors either arrived by steamer to the hotel’s dock or by train. The railway depot was located...

Hasty: A Minnesota Ghost Town

The town of Hasty in central Minnesota began with the construction of a new Great Northern Railway line. The tracks were laid in 1881, adjacent to land owned by Warren Hasty. The new line connected Minneapolis to Osseo, Monticello, and Clearwater. Construction of a railroad depot for Hasty began in the fall of 1888 and opened with little fanfare in February 1889. From the outset, residents of...

Park Island Inn Gallery

More information about the Park Island Inn can be found here.

Historic Park Island Hotel Threatened With Demolition

The Park Island Hotel in Center City opened in 1900. The secluded, lakeside property offered guests nearly 3,000 square feet of space to relax on the main level alone–including a large dining room and a lounge at the back of the hotel that overlooked the lake. Twenty guest rooms were located upstairs. Some rooms had a private bathroom while others shared. The long dock...

The Mysterious Death of Clara Ober in Blue Earth

After one hundred and twenty years, the mystery of what happened to Clara Ober between the evening of July 29th, and 2:00 p.m. the following day remains unknown. The entire community around Blue Earth, Minnesota was divided about what happened to Clara and who was responsible for her death. In fact, it is still debated today. Clara Ober was the second oldest child of...

Taconite Harbor Gallery

More information about Taconite Harbor can be found here.

The Eight Days in May Protests

For many at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, May 9, 1972 started out like any other day. The weather was much cooler than normal, so students rushed to and from their classes. The buzz on campus concerned President Nixon’s announcement that the United States would lay mines in North Vietnam’s Haiphong Harbor in an attempt to impede the supply of weapons and material...

A Queen Anne Masterpiece in Canby

John Grant Lund was a feisty showman and self-made millionaire known locally as “The Real Estate King of Canby”. As one of southwestern Minnesota’s first land speculators, he was known to meet incoming trains filled with prospective settlers at the depot. Accompanied by a full band, Lund would take center stage in a vest decorated with brass buttons, a bandmaster’s cap, and a cornet that...

Two Harbors Roundhouse and Shops Gallery

This last part of the Duluth, Messabe, and Iron Range Railroad roundhouse and shops complex was demolished in 2014.

Tenney – The Evolution of a Ghost Town

For several years, Tenney held the distinction of being Minnesota’s smallest town. The 2010 census showed that Tenney boasted two families, and an average age of close to 57 years old. The total population was five. When the numbers dwindled to just three residents, it became nearly impossible to keep the town alive. Tenney was on the brink of becoming a ghost town. Tenney...

EACO Flour Mill Fire in Waseca

This photo from 1900 shows Loon Lake and the town of Waseca in the distance. On the left are the newly reconstructed buildings of the Everett, Aughenbaugh and Company (EACO) flour mill. The original EACO mill burned to the ground in 1896. Here is a historical account of the events of August 25, 1896: At about twenty minutes after 3 o’clock Tuesday morning, Aug....

Laura Baker’s School in Northfield

Laura Belle Baker was born in Chariton, Iowa on April 10, 1859. Her parents were liberal and civic-minded farmers who stressed the importance of education, tolerance, and empathy to their children. Shortly after graduating from grammar school, Baker began teaching. She would spend the next eighty-three years successfully educating boys and girls that society often feared. After receiving her teaching degree in 1877, Baker...